Jhonkensy Noel (Lynchburg, 3B): 2/3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, HBP – In game one for the Hillcats and Shorebirds, it was the Jhonkensy Noel show all over again. After going deep and knocking in three yesterday in his first game back with Lynchburg, he added two more homers and three more RBI today. His first came in the first with Christian Cairo on base to give Lynchburg an early lead. His second lead off the third and was followed immediately by another from Julian Escobedo to give the Hillcats a 6-0 advantage. While the Shorebirds slowly crept back, this lead was enough to hold on for the win and Noel even helped them push one more across in the seventh as his HBP helped load the bases prior to a sac fly.
Cody Morris (Akron, SP): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 7 K – Morris continued on his return to normalcy with his third and longest start since rejoining Akron. He continued his success from his previous two starts with two K’s in a perfect first, then hit a batter in the second, but used a strike out and double play to end the inning. He hit another and walked his only batter in the third and struck out two more to continue his scoreless run. He allowed individual singles in the fourth and fifth, but has now pitched 13 scoreless innings to start his season in AA with eight hits, one walk and 16 strike outs.
Best of the rest
Julian Escobedo (Lynchburg, RF/LF): 3/4, 2 HR, BB, 3 RBI, 3 R, SB – Escobedo hit a solo home run in game one, but the real focus here is game two. He singled in the first and almost had an RBI, but John Rodriguez was caught trying to score. A balk then moved Escobedo up (and would have scored Rodriguez had he been patient), then Escobedo stole third and scored on an error. He was then hit by a pitch in the fourth, then hit his second homer of the day in the sixth. This time it was a two run shot that scored Angel Martinez and cemented the Hillcats victory.
Francisco Perez (Columbus, RP): 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 R, H – Perez came into the game for Columbus right after they gained the lead in the fifth. He walked the first batter and allowed a double in his first frame, but struck out two and escaped unscathed. He struck out two more in a perfect seventh, then allowed two singles in the eighth before striking out the final two batters for another scoreless inning.
Oscar Gonzalez (Columbus, RF): 2/4, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2B – Gonzalez doubled and scored in the third on Alex Call’s home run, giving the Clippers their first runs of the night. He then homered to lead off the fifth and tie the game.
Alex Call (Columbus, CF): 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR – Call’s first hit was the two run homer mentioned above. Following Gonzalez’s homer in the fifth, Call walked and scored the go ahead run on a Jordan Luplow double. He added another single in the sixth that didn’t effect the scoring.
Richie Palacios (Akron, 2B): 2/3, 2 R, 2B, SB, RBI, BB – The Ducks were hitless going into the fourth when Palacios singled to break up the early no-no. He then knocked in the first run of the game for either team when he doubled home Ike Freeman in the sixth. He then walked, stole second and scored on a Chris Roller single for Akron’s third and final run.
Jon Engelmann (Akron, DH): 2/3, R, 2B – Engelmann singled in the fifth, but was stranded. He doubled two innings later and scored the second Ducks’ run on a Mike Rivera single.
Liam Jenkins (Lynchburg, SP): 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K – Jenkins made the start in game two last night and pitched through trouble but managed to keep a shut out alive. He caused his own trouble in the first with an error, but got out with a double play. In the second he lead off with a single and a walk, but struck out two to end the threat. The next issue came in the fourth when he allowed a single, but got another double play, only to give up a single and a walk, leading to his early exit. Neither runner would score.
Tim Herrin (Lake County, RP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 5 K – The only player featured from Lake County, Herrin jumped into the game in the seventh after Xzavion Curry had already given up four runs. He struck out his first two batters to end the seventh, then the next two to start the eighth. In the ninth, he committed a throwing error that lead to an unearned run on a double, his only hit allowed in the appearance.
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